The Smallest User

CY preps for a greener year as energy efficiency competition debuts

By Sutton Mora Hayes

As we have mentioned a few times in the past several months, the CYDC is participating in a new program called The Smallest User: A Neighborhood-Based Energy Efficiency Project in partnership with MLGW, The University of Memphis, and the Evergreen Historic District Association. The goal of this program is to create a competition between two neighborhoods to see which one can become the most energy-efficient over the life of a campaign designed to inform residents about energy-efficiency and usage reduction. The two neighborhoods are Cooper-Young and Evergreen. The time for the competition is now!

The official launch party for the competition was held January 27th at First Congregational Church, but MLGW officially started monitoring our usage on January 1st. At the event at First Congo, neighbors in CY learned about their energy usage thus far in 2010 and how that stacked up to the base year for our competition, 2008. (The partners in this program determined 2009 would not be an accurate base year due to the changes and instability in the housing market.) They also learned a little bit about what is going on in our “rival” neighborhood of Evergreen.

Most importantly, neighbors were exposed to some of the programs offered by MLGW to help homes become more energy-efficient. They were also given tips on other things they can do around their house to reduce their usage amounts. This is the first of several meetings that we’ll have to show residents how much they are reducing their energy usage (hopefully) and give more information about increasing energy-efficiency around the house.

As a reminder, the specific goals for this project are:

Improve awareness about energy conservation and energy-efficiency

Improve participation in various energy-efficiency programs

Lower overall utility usage in both neighborhoods by 10%

Encourage other neighborhoods to make this an annual event


Please let your neighbors know about this competition! The more people in the neighborhood that are aware of the project, the better chance we have at reducing our overall energy usage and the more fun it will be. Be on the lookout for more information from CYDC and its partners. Let’s make 2010 the greenest year yet in Cooper-Young!


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  1. I’m a Cooper-Young resident and would like to particpate in the smallest user program. Please contact me at Thanks!

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  2. Hi Margrethe!

    It’s really easy to do – all you need is to try to be energy conscious and try to use less energy than you do now :)

    According to Tom Chamberlain from MLGW, they use the meter readings from all of the homes in CY with folks in them (i.e not vacant or up for sale) to calculate the change of power use from month to month. So, all the residents in CY are already in the competition and your energy use is already being counted. Don’t worry though if you haven’t been trying to reduce your power consumption yet – the official kickoff was January 27th, so you still have plenty of time to make an impact (and ultimately win against Evergreen!).

    There will be quarterly meetings, monthly updates, and great tips coming out on how to save energy from Sutton Mora Hayes with the Cooper Young Development Corporation. Make sure that you are on the mailing list by sending her a quick e-mail at, and encourage folks you know to do the same. We’ve done one interview with Tom Chamberlain and WMC-TV for the Smallest User competition and I can say that they are really trying to help us reduce our energy use and therefore our bills (and I don’t know about you, but I am all about saving some $ on my power bill!). Definitely get on the mailing list though. Sutton is awesome at keeping everyone in the loop and up-to-date on new programs for saving energy, monthly rankings, and meetings with Tom from MLGW.

    Hope this helps!!

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  3. I love that they’ve made a competition out of this! Bring it on Evergreen! I was one of the lazy ones when it came to energy consumption, but I will change my wasteful ways just to spite Evergreen! :-)

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  1. CY’s Kristan Huntley discusses Smallest User on WMC-TV - [...] on March 17, 2010 Cooper-Young’s Kristan Huntley was on WMC-TV yesterday to discuss the Smallest User program. She …

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